We’re very pleased to announce the launch of our latest Aquent Gymnasium course, UX Fundamentals: Learning to design for your users.
The course will explain:
How to conduct basic user research and create user personas
Approaches to information design, wireframing, and prototyping
How to organize a site’s content in a way that meets user expectations
How to facilitate a positive user experience by relying on common design patterns
How to conduct user testing
By the end, students will have a solid framework for assessing a site’s usability and a methodology for applying UX principles to site design and development.
“This is a low-buzzword introduction to user experience (UX) design,” says course instructor Jim Webb, “It will give students a base to be able to talk clearly and effectively with colleagues and clients about their users and about user experience design.”
Intended for working web designers who, in Jim’s words, “want to think beyond how their products look and design for how people will use them,” there are few prerequisites or technical requirements for the course. For this reason, Jim says, “most anyone interested in the subject of UX will get something out of it."
Asked to describe “the coolest thing about the course,” Jim responds, “You won't be stuck in front of a computer the whole time! You'll sketch (with real pencil and paper); you'll interview real people about the products they use; and you'll build a working prototype of a website, with no coding necessary.”
“You are not the user”
“We make a lot of assumptions about who we are building stuff for. UX people don’t,” says Jeremy Osborn, Academic Director for Aquent Gymnasium.
“A lot of lip service gets paid to users and being user-centric,” he continued, “but as deadlines hit and we encounter constraints, that user-centricity starts to crumble. You need someone to advocate for the user from the beginning to the end of the design process; that someone is the UX specialist.”
“Research shows that you have about 10 seconds to tell a user who you are, why they should care, and what you want them to do,” Osborn explains.
“If you don’t have someone advocating for users, you have a site that people leave or an app they delete.”
Why we created this course
Companies want customers and prospects to engage with their websites. They want them to download and use their apps.
Accordingly, they realize that they need user advocates, that is, designers and front-end developers who understand user experience design techniques and methods.
Unfortunately, as important as the discipline of UX is, such designers and developers are difficult to find.
We wanted to create a course that would address this gap, so we spoke to a lot UX professionals—from people managing entire UX teams to lone UX voices crying in the corporate wilderness.
While we did uncover some very specific missing pieces—there is a real need for people who know how to produce working prototypes from wireframes, for example—what we heard over and over again was that everyone would benefit if there were simply a broader understanding of the essential elements of UX methodology.
So, we made a course!
If this course sounds like it’s right up your alley, we invite you to enroll.
And if you're new to Aquent Gymnasium, you might want to peruse our entire catalog.